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Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)

  • 07 Aug 2019
  • 5 min read

The recently released unit-level data of the PLFS, (PLFS was launched by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in 2017), suggests that job market conditions in the country are more worrisome than what the headline numbers reveal.

  • According to Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18, 6.1% of India’s labour force, and 17.8% of young people (15-29 years) in the labour force are unemployed.
  • The data shows that the proportion of the workforce engaged in regular wage/salaried jobs increased by 5 percentage points between 2011-12 (when the last NSSO employment unemployment survey was conducted) and 2017-18.
    • But this increase was partly because of the denominator effect (the overall workforce declined by 4 percentage points between 2011-12 and 2017-18).
    • As a share of the population, regular workers increased only by one percentage point to 8% over the same period.
    • Moreover, it is worth noting that India still lags far behind its South Asian neighbours and developing economies such as China (53.1%), Brazil (67.7%) and South Africa (84.8%) in the share of salaried or regular jobs.
  • The median daily earnings were higher for men and women in regular jobs, as compared to self-employment and casual work.
    • However, not all salaried jobs guarantee high pays as around 45% of salaried workers — the best-paid workers in India — earned less than ₹10,000 per month, and only about 4% of them earned more than ₹50,000 per month in 2017-18.
    • Overall, 72% of regular workers earned below the minimum monthly salary of ₹18,000 prescribed by the 7th Pay Commission.
  • Across categories of the workforce, wages and earnings were higher in urban areas than in rural areas, and for men than for women.
  • About 15% of regular workers were engaged in elementary occupations such as building caretakers, garbage collectors and manual workers.
    • This includes 21% of women regular workers and 13% of men regular workers.
    • The median earnings of these workers was only about one-fourth of the top-earning occupational group (legislators, senior officials and managers).
  • The median earnings in elementary occupations is followed by service workers and those engaged in skilled agricultural work and fisheries (median earnings of ₹8000 per month for both sets of workers).
  • Regular jobs are important and in high demand globally because they tend to offer better pay and job security.
  • About 71% of the regular workers in the non-agricultural sector did not have a written job contract in 2017-18.
    • Absence of a written job contract undermines job security, and the proportion without a job contract increased for both men and women regular workers between 2011-12 and 2017-18. So did the proportion of workers who were not eligible for paid leave.
  • There was a 5.8 percentage points decline in the proportion of regular workers who were not eligible for any social security benefits between 2011-12 and 2017-18.
    • This number continues to be high, and around half of the regular workers were not eligible for any social security benefits in 2017-18.

Government Steps for Generating Employment in the Country

  • Government is encouraging private sector of the economy to boost employment in the country.
  • Government is also working for fast tracking of various projects involving substantial investment and increasing public expenditure on schemes like:
    • Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) run by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises,
    • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA),
    • Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) scheme run by Ministry of Rural Development,
    • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) run by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs etc.
  • The Government has also constituted Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development among others

Source: Mint

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